It's one of the first, weak days of spring, and she is busy planning her weekend at the Calliope Gathering. A bag with several last-minute purchases dangles from her left hand.
Her first appearance as "tourist attraction"! She still can't believe it. And all the things that have to be prepared, pondered, packed, ...
... and that is exactly why she does not see him coming towards her until it is too late.
They are standing right in front of each other. A little bit embarassed. She feels herself blush. He does not know where to look.
"Hey." She smiles.
Silence. He does not look her in the eyes.
"So, how have you been doing?"
He shrugs. "Rather well, I assume. My father finally handed me the keys to his office last month, and it's my name on all the contracts now. Of course, all the responsibility is mine as well."
She nods. "Sounds great." The lack of enthusiasm hardly shows in her voice. It's easier now to be interested, since she is not involved anymore. From his suit you can see he is doing well. A successful lawyer, just as his mother always wanted it.
"And we had a child last October."
"I heard. Congratulations."
They fall silent. She remembers a time when this information would have hurt her. A time when she would have done everything to be the woman he wanted, the woman his family would have chosen for him.
Silence is getting uncomfortable, and trying to get out of it, he asks, "And what about you? What have you been busy with?"
"Oh, I'm making delicious bread these days. And I sold a couple of poems. The asked me to read at - at a convention, you might say." He wouldn't know anything about Calliope anyway.
He tries to smile. "That is - wonderful. And what do you do? I mean, er, for a living?"
Now she remembers why it does not hurt anymore. "Whatever comes up. Last summer I picked strawberries. And I helped at the library when Mrs. Miller broke her hip. Maybe they'll offer me her position, she considers retiring."
"It would be good for you to finally have a chance to - settle down. You could - you know, evolve."
Grow up, is that what you mean?
"I'm fine just the way I am, thanks. Give Zelda my best wishes!" She straightens her shoulders, smiles at him once more and moves on, down the street.
The sun is shining, the first birds are singing. After a few steps, she starts to run.